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regiments. The brigade commander is Brigadier- The regiments were well dressed, finely equipped, General David A. Russell, of the regular army, and splendidly armed. formerly well known to Massachusetts as the Now for our position. Between us and these able colonel of one of her best regiments, the works lay a hill, which shut them off from our Seventh
view. Descending this, and passing over several · The late operations on the seventh instant hundred yards of broken country, you come to were conducted on the left, at Kelley's Ford, by another hill, from whose crest were visible the the First, Second, and Third corps, under com- enemy's intrenchments and the opposite side of mand of Major-General French, and on the right, the river. Between this second hill and the enat Rappahanock Ford, by the Fifth and Sixth emy lay a distance of half a mile, flat, to be sure, corps, under command of Major-General Sedg- but trying ground for a charge. For, in the first wick. In this corps, Brigadier-General Wright place, right across the path extended a ditch had command of the corps in Sedgwick's place, twelve or fourteen feet wide, with steep banks, while General Russell assumed the command of some six feet deep, and filled with mud and wathe First division, vacated by General Wright. ter to an average depth of three feet. Crossing
At day break, on the morning of the seventh this, the field was broken for some distance with * instant, this corps left its pleasant camps in and stumps and underbrush, then came a smooth,
around Warrenton, and moved rapidly on toward clear stretch, then a road, then a dry moat, some Rappahanock Station, this division leading the twelve feet wide and five deep, and above you corps, while this brigade had the advance in the rose the strong, defying fortifications. It was division. After marching about six miles, we indeed a position of immense strength, and well arrived at Fayetteville, where all the companies justified the rebel belief that they could hold it but one, of the Forty-ninth Pennsylvania volun- against our entire army. But they reckoned teers, were thrown out as flankers and skirmish- without General Russell and his gallant brigadeers. Thus we advanced, unmolested by the en- a brigade which has been his care and pride, and emy, and arrived about noon at Rappahanock which he waited but this opportunity to test the Station. Here we halted in the edge of a piece metal of. Just before sunset, our skirmish-line, of timber, distant about a mile and a half from under command of Major Fuller, of the Sixth the river. We at once formed a line of battle, Maine, lay on the other side of the dry moat the left resting on the Orange and Alexandria above described, connecting on its left with a Railroad, and the right of our division line con- sister regiment, the Twentieth Maine, belonging necting with the left of the Second division of to the Fifth corps. The railway at this point this corps, commanded by Brigadier-General deflected slightly to the left, and some of the Howe. To our left, on the other side of the skirmishers of the Twentieth, commanded by railroad, extended the lines of the Fifth corps. Captain Morrill, found themselves on our side of The Forty-ninth Pennsylvania, Fifth Wisconsin, the railway. At this time General Russell sent and One Hundred and Nineteenth Pennsylvania word to General Wright that the works in his formed our brigade front. The Sixth Maine front could be carried by storm, and that he dewere posted about a hundred paces in advance sired to try it. Permission was given, and Genof our centre, and shortly after we had halted, eral Russell at once moved forward his brigade the skirmishers of the Forty-ninth were relieved in two lines of battle, the front line consisting of by five companies of the Sixth Maine, who were the remaining five companies of the Sixth Maine rapidly thrown forward to the crest of a hill half a on the left and the Fifth Wisconsin on the right, mile to our front. About three o'clock P.M., the and the rear line of the Forty-vinth Pennsylvania skirmish-line was advanced to the foot of a hill on the left, and the One Hundred and Nineteenth rising from the river. This hill is in reality a on the right. As senior colonel, Colonel P. C. part of the river-bank, which here rises up so as Ellmaker, of the One Hundred and Nineteenth, to command the front for a mile or more, and was in command of the brigade this day, and was further strengthened by an elaborate re- well and gallantly did he sustain himself in his doubt, containing two twelve - pound Parrott new and trying position. guns, taken originally from Milroy at the capit. The rear line was halted at the foot of the seculation of Winchester. On the rebel right, and ond hill, and the front line moved to its top. On near the railway, was another smaller redoubt, nearing the top, the other five companies of the (also containing two three-inch ordnance guns Sixth Maine were deployed as skirmishers, raptaken from us, the one at Antietam, the other at idly spread out, and covered their fellows in the Chancellorsville,) which crowned a hill but little advance, while the Fifth Wisconsin, directing lower than the one just described, from which it themselves in solid line of battle upon the strongwas distant some six hundred feet. To the en- er and larger fort, followed closely up. As the emy's left of the larger fortification, extended a skirmish-line was advancing, Major Fuller, who long line of formidable, carefully constructed had recognized the Twentieth Maine men, said rifle-pits. These redoubts and rifile-pits were to Captain Morrill, who had formerly been a nonlined with troops-in short, Stonewall Jackson's commissioned officer in his own regiment, and old brigade was there. The famous Louisiana Ti- who was in command of a skirmish detail of gers were here too. There was one entire brigade seventy-five men, that the Sixth Maine was on his (five regiments) and three regiments of another right, and asked him if he would not charge the brigade, all under command of General Hayes. I fort in front with them. Captain Morrill at once
ran along the line of his skirmishers. “Boys,” the left of their larger redoubt the rebels are said he, “the Sixth Maine is on our right; let's go pouring in a murderous, enfilading fire upon our in with them." About fifty men of the Twentieth men in that work, and are striving vainly to reMaine at once responded to this call, and like true gain their lost vantage-ground; while their felsoldiers rushed into the danger with the Sixth. | lows, driven from the smaller work, and unable Pressing forward with the skirmish-line went to cross the river, reënforce them in numbers. their general; the rear skirmishers scramble But the heavy tramp of swiftly coming feet is through the moat, they are up with the advance, heard above the din of musketry, the General General Russell orders the charge," and for himself rides down the hill, across the moat ward, with fixed bayonets, without stopping to and road, to meet his advancing column-the fire a shot, dash the gallant fellows. Several “double-quick" becomes a run, from the fort the shell have been thrown to stay their course, and Fifth Wisconsin shout for assistance, and with a now from four cannon belches forth a torrent of wild burst Pennsylvania goes into the fight. spherical case, and the air is resonant with the And now all resistance at the forts is at an end. hum of thousands of rifle-bullets. The skirmish. The sullen prisoners are sent to the rear. Now ers leap the parapet, the right wing passes seven rebel battle-flags are brought up to the through the stronger redoubt, and wheels down edge of the rifle-pit for the disheartened foe to to aid its left in the fort nearest the railway, rally around. The sight stimulates the officers leaving the Fifth Wisconsin to complete the of the two Pennsylvania regiments to madness, work so well begun in the larger fort. Hand to and they beg permission of General Russell to hand they fight with triple their number. Walk-take down the flaunting rags. That officer, er, the senior captain of the Fifth Wisconsin, the however, cool and self-possessed, even when scarred hero of a score of battles, has fallen, mor- danger is at its height, refuses, for the men are tally wounded in the head, between the larger needed to hold the captured works, and he redoubt and the rifle-pit on its left. Gallant has already sent back message after message Captain Ordway, next on the list, of the same to the Second brigade (commanded by Colonel regiment, as he leaps upon the parapet and waves Emory Upton) to hurry forward two regiments his sword, to stimulate his men, falls dead inside to charge those rifle-pits, and he will not expose the fort, shot through the heart. Close by his men to an attack from foe and friend alike. Walker lies the stalwart form of the hitherto Surely and swiftly, needing no reminder when unhurt Furlong, captain in the Sixth Maine- he knows he is needed at the front, comes forpoor, brave, warm-hearted Furlong! Within the ward Upton-courageous and ambitious—with fort, pierced through the body, and with his his solid columns, loading as they advance at the brains blown out, lies Lieutenant McKinley, of double-quick. They unsling their knapsacks at the same regiment. At the foot of the hill, in the foot of the hill, and with the deep Anglothe road, lies Lieutenant-Colonel Harris, with a Saxon “hurrah," the gallant One Hundred and shattered hip-Harris, than whom no better or Twenty-first New-York and Fifth Maine dash at braver officer lives. Half-way up the ascent lies the rifle-pits. The Fifth is on the right and the Major Wheeler, of the Fifth Wisconsin, but just One Hundred and Twenty-first on the left of recovered from a previous wound, to be again their advancing line. Dusk has now fairly shut struck down. At the edge of the parapet, urg- | in. “Steady, men, don't fire a shot," rings out ing on the men, Lieutenant Russell, aid-de-camp Upton's voice above the roar of battle, and at a and near relative to the General, is smitten from charge in they go. One volley only is fired at his horse with a dangerous wound-a courageous, them, and the deadly pit is theirs. Through the high-toned soldier. Close by him falls Clark, pit and down the hill they go to the rebel ponAdjutant of the Sixth Maine-rebel-hating, rebel- toon-bridge, now and for some time too hot for a defying, even as he was borne from the field. safe passage. The rebels are huddled in flocks,
The General had already sent back for the like frightend sheep, and are captured by hunrest of his brigade; yet during the ten minutes dreds. The firing ceases, and the day is ours. that perhaps passed before they could come up Thus ended one of the most daring and sucat the “double-quick," sixteen out of twenty-one cessful exploits of this war-an exploit which officers, and a hundred and twenty-three out of was the sole offspring of one man's brain. The three hundred and fifty enlisted men, of the hour and occasion were propitious, the troops Sixth Maine, had fallen, and of the Fifth Wiscon- were reliable, and General Russell seized his opsin, seven officers and fifty-six men were killed portunity. and wounded. The moment is a trying one. What are the results ? Four guns, four caisCaptains Packard and Tyler, and Lieutenant sons, filled with ammunition, five limbers, one Russell, the entire staff of the General command-color, five hundred prisoners, several horses, and ing the division, have all in succession been sent many hundred stand of small arins, were capback to hurry up the remainder of the brigade. tured by Russell's brigade alone. Two strong But how can men, encumbered with knapsack, redoubts, the key to the rebel position at this gun, equipments, and eight days' rations - a point, were carried by a mere skirmish line. weight of sixty pounds or more-get over the Colonel Upton's brigade, the movements of ground any faster than are the Forty-ninth and which were directed by General Russell, took One Hundred and Nineteenth coming on? The some one thousand one hundred prisoners, the moment is a trying one, for from the rifle-pit tol rebel pontoon-bridge, seven colors, and a strong rifle-pit. The whole constitutes a more glorious held this road, during the latter part of the sumand magnificent result than has attended the mer, he had thrown up a line of breastworks victories of entire armies in this war. And this from a point a short distance below the end of result was obtained by a brigade whose numer- the railroad bridge, on the other side, which ical strength was but one thousand five hundred works faced from the river and extended some and forty-nine, officers and men, assisted by two distance up, and diverging from the river. The regiments only of another brigade, and opposed Louisianians occupied the lower part of these to a force of more than double their number. works; the pontoon-bridge, the only place of
The success of this operation is entirely at crossing for infantry, being upon their left, and tributable to the personal bravery, labor, and about one hundred yards above where the railsupervision of the commanding General, David road bridge had been burned. At half-past two A. Russell. No more modest, unassuming man o'clock P.m., the long-rol! was beat in our enserves in this army, and for himself he claims campment, and every man fit for duty called and asks no credit. Only for his regiments here, upon to fall in--we knew not why, as we had as in camp, is he solicitous; and for those re- no artillery, the day being quite windy, and our giments, the Fifth Wisconsin and Sixth Maine, camp being about six miles from the river. The composing the party that stormed the redoubt, whole of Early's division was marched rapidly and the Forty-ninth and One Hundred and Nine-to the river. Brigadier-General Hoke's brigade teenth Pennsylvania, who so promptly and of three regiments, the Sixth, Fifty-fourth, and bravely supported the storming column, is he Fifty-seventh, now commanded by Colonel A. C. jealous. Yet his post, as a division commander, Godwin, formerly first provost-marshal of Richwas well to the rear of his troops. In place of mond, was ordered over the river to occupy the that position, he accompanied the skirmish line, extreme left of the breastworks. This brigade was with them in the assault, rode over every crossed the river under a heavy fire of artillery, inch of the battle-field, did the business of a (for the Louisianians were already sustaining a dozen aids, rode fearless and triumphant amid furious fire from several batteries.) This fire the storm of bullets, provided for every contin- from the artillery and sharp-shooters was kept up gency, and when, finally, the day was ours, until after sunset. The other two brigades of was perhaps the least exultant man upon that General Early's division, commanded by Brigahill.
dier-Generals Gordon and Pegram, were held in Too much praise cannot be given to any regi- position on this side the river. By sunset the ments engaged in this fight; but the meed of enemy had extended his lines, in the form of a honor is more especially due to the men and half-moon, so as to envelop our forces entirely, officers of the Fifth Wisconsin and Sixth Maine. his right and left resting on the river above and The help rendered by our artillery must not be below. At the same time he had formed three forgotten. A battery of the Fifth corps, planted lines of attack, one behind the other, to assault in a piece of woods to the left of the railway, the works held by General Hayes and the right (I am informed the battery was formerly Griffin's of Hoke's brigade. The sun had gone down and afterward Hazlett's,) made some splendid when this terrible onset was made. Although shooting. On a hill running to the right of the the odds were greatly against us, and we had storming party, from which hill the enemy's only four pieces of artillery on that side of the skirmishers were driven by Howe's skirmishers river, our men received the shock as brave men of the Second division, were planted Martin's only do. The Louisianians fought with a desand Waterman's batteries, and four twenty-peration. The enemy's front line was torn to pound Parrott guns from the reserve artillery. pieces, and scattered in confusion. Being reenThe rebels say that the shells from all these forced by the second and third lines, the enemy guns were dropped directly over their works, again advanced upon the works, and, by overand were thrown with more precision than they powering numbers, leaped the works into the ever before witnessed.
TANDEM. ditch, and came to a hand-to-hand fight.
| Our brave men, being thus so greatly outnumA REBEL NARRATIVE-CAPTURE OF HOKE'S BRIGADE. bered, were compelled to yield. Some surren
AT OUR OLD CAMPS ON TUE RAPIDAN, I dered, others rushed to the pontoon and escaped,
November 10, 1863. ' some others, being cut off from that, plunged To the Editor of the Eraminer :
into the river below and swam across, a few beA history of the misfortune which befel our ing drowned; General Hayes escaped after he brigade on the afternoon of Saturday, the seventh had surrendered; Colonels Monaghan and Peck instant, is due to the friends of the unfortunate swam the river. More than half this brigade officers and soldiers at home. I therefore beg are missing. The extreme right of General leave to offer, for the information of such, only Hoke's brigade fought with equal valor, and such information as I have been able to gather shared a similar fate. The possession of the from the officers who escaped. On Friday the works held by the Louisianians gave the enemy Louisiana brigade, under Brigadier-General possession of the pontoon-bridge, and thus cut Hayes, was sent across the Rappahannock to off General Hoke's brigade from any escape, exact as a picket-guard at the point where the rail-cept by swimming. Our extreme right being road from Culpeper Court-House to Manassas thrown back, the brave Colonel Godwin, although crosses the Rappahannock. Whilst the enemy surrounded on all sides, except on the river-side,
still fought on, and when compelled to yield larly to the storming party under Brigadier-Genground to overwhelming odds, fell back with a eral Russell, his thanks are due. The gallantry force of about seventy-five men, still returning displayed in the assault on the enemy's intrenchthe enemy's fire, and refused to surrender untiled position of Rapahannock Station, resulting fighting was useless.
in the capture of four guns, two thousand small Lieutenant-Colonel Tate and Major York, Cap- arms, eight battle-flags, one bridge train, and tains McPherson and Ray, and Lieutenant Me- | one thousand six hundred prisoners. To Majorbane, of the Sixth, with Captain Adams, of the General French and the officers and men of the staff, broke away, and escaped over the bridge Third corps engaged, particularly to the leading in the darkness. Lieutenants Williams, Smith, column, commanded by Colonel De Trobriand, and Fitzgerald, of the Fifty-fourth ; Brown, of his thanks are due for the gallantry displayed in the Sixth, with a few others, plunged into the the crossing at Kelly's Ford, and the seizure of river and swam safely over; but, unfortunately, the enemy's intrenchments, and the capture of some others were drowned. Lieutenant-Colonel over four hundred prisoners. The Commanding H. Jones, Jr., of the Fifty-seventh, and Captain General takes great pleasure in announcing to White, of the Sixth, plunged in to swim, but the army that the President has expressed his the coldness of the water compelled them to put satisfaction with its recent operations. back.
By command of Major-General MEADE. The casualties of our brigade are small in S. WILLIAMS, killed and wounded. Adjutant Mebane, of the
Assistant Adjutant-General. Sixth, wounded in arm and side ; William Johnston, Captain White's company, wounded in
GENERAL RUSSELL'S CONGRATULATORY ORDER. thigh severely, though not mortally ; Sergeant
HEADQUARTERS THIRD BRIGADE, Crisman, Captain Hooper's company, killed. The
Monday, Nov. 9, 1863. brigade is almost annihilated. The Fifty-fourth | GENERAL ORDERS, No. 51. regiment has only one captain (Paschall) left, OFFICERS AND SOLDIERS : Your gallant deeds with five lieutenants, and about fifteen men re- of the seventh of November will live in the anmaining. The fragments of the brigade are now nals of your country, and will be not the least collected under the command of Lieutenant-Col-glorious of the exploits of the Army of the Poonel Tate, of the Sixth, and attached to the tomac. Louisiana brigade. These fragments now num-. But your General cannot but express to you ber about two hundred and seventy-five men. himself his congratulations upon your success, This is a serious disaster, so far as our feelings and his appreciation of your daring and gallanare concerned, but it does not shake our hopes try. To have carried by storm, with a mere as to success. This sad affair took place in the skirmish line and a feeble support in numbers, presence of General Lee and Major-General Early, powerful earthworks, a strong natural position, who had arrived on this side the river.
manned by the flower of the rebel ariny, and The loss of the enemy has been serious, as strengthened by artillery, would be an achievethe ground in front of our works was literally ment that a division of our forces might well covered with his dead. At midnight on Satur- / feel pride in ; but it was not too much for the day night, General Lee began to fall back. On gallant sons of Maine and Wisconsin. Sunday morning, he formed the line of battle be- The hearty, generous, and glorious support of yond Culpeper ; but although the enemy had Pennsylvania in the strife should serve to bind forced the guard at Kelly's Ford, and compelled yet closer together the East, the Middle States, General Rhodes to fall back with a loss of two and the West, and to her troops belongs no small hundred men killed, wounded, and missing, yet share of our victory.* no attack was made on us by the infantry. 'In Your General felt confident that soldiers, who the afternoon, the enemy's cavalry attacked Gen- / in camp observe all the strict rules of military eral Wilcox's brigade, and were badly cut up.
life with fidelity, would prove equally reliable in During Sunday night General Lee fell back to the field ; and in this, the first essay of your his old position south of the Rapidan,
prowess, you exceeded his most sanguine expecP.S. -Lieutenants Morrison, Lefter, and May tations. nard, of the Fifty-seventh, are all safe.
With the actual results of your engagement Jonn PARIS,
you are all too familiar to render any recapitulaChaplain Fifty-fourth Regiment N. C. T. tion necessary ; but there is the further reflec
tion to offset the saddening influence of the loss GENERAL MEADE'S CONGRATULATORY ORDER.
of your well-tried and courageous brothers-inHEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE Potomac, L
arms, that any subsequent attack upon your op
November 9. - GENERAL Order No. 101.
ponents, better prepared and strengthened as The Commanding General congratulates the they would have been, must have been attended army upon the recent successful passage of the with a yet sadder and, it may be, a less successRappahannock in the face of the enemy, com- ful result. pelling him to withdraw to his intrenchments
| And it is just and fitting here to acknowledge behind the Rapidan. To Major-General Sedg
the soldierly conduct and valuable assistance of wick and the officers and men of the Fifth and
* This brigade consisted of the Sixth Maine, Fifth Wisconsin. Sixth corps participating in the attack, particu. Forty-nintha
I Forty-ninth and One Hundred and Nineteenth Pennsylvania.
Colonel Upton and his gallant regiments, the produced on our tonnage ; and, without troubFifth Maine and the One Hundred and Twenty- | ling you with the great loss which our ship-ownfirst New-York. Prompt in their support, they ers sustain in the almost total loss of foreign deserve our heartiest thanks, as by their bravery commerce, it is only necessary to call your attenthey won a large share of the honors of the tion to the inclosed table, prepared and published day.
by one of the best informed commercial journals The banners of this brigade shall bear the of this city, showing the loss of the carrying name, “Rappahannock," to perpetuate, so long trade on the imports and exports of this city as those banners shall endure, dropping and alone, by which you will perceive, that while durshredding away though they may be for genera- ing the quarter ending June thirtieth, 1860, we tions, the proud triumph won by you on the imported and exported over sixty-two million seventh of November, 1863.
| dollars in American vessels, and but thirty milBy command of Brigadier-General D. A. Rus- lion dollars in foreign vessels; we have in the SELL.
C. A. HURD, corresponding quarter of this year only twentyAssistant Adjutant-General. three million dollars by our own ships, while we
have sixty-five million dollars by foreign vessels.
The intermediate periods show a most painful Doc. 11.
decadence of our shipping interest and tonnage REBEL PRIVATEERS.
by transfer and sale to foreign flags, which, at this
time of considerable commercial activity, does not LETTER OF NEW-YORK MERCHANTS.
so much indicate a want of enterprise in this field Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy, of occupation as a want of confidence in the Washington, D. C.:
national protection of our flag on the ocean. The Sir: The continued depredations of the rebel national pride of many of our patriotic ship-owncruisers on the mercantile marine of the country ers has subjected them to heavy sacrifices in have not only destroyed a large amount of the difference of insurance against capture, of two active capital of the merchants, but seriously per cent to ten per cent, while the underwriters threaten the very existence of that valuable part of the country have been compelled to make of our commerce.
great concessions in favor of American shipping, Apart from the loss of so much individual yet without materially affecting the result, and wealth and the destruction of so valuable a source many of them encountering heavy losses by cap. of material power and enterprise, it is humiliat- ture, in quarters where they had every reason to ing to our pride as citizens of the first naval believe our commerce would be protected by napower on the earth that a couple of indifferently tional vessels of efficiency and power. Indeed, equipped rebel cruisers should for so long a pe- the almost total absence of efficient naval force riod threaten our commerce with annihilation. in many of the great highways of commerce has It is a painful source of mortification to every had a damaging influence on our prospects, by American, at home and abroad, that the great producing a great degree of temerity on the part highways of our commerce have hitherto been of the rebel cruisers, and corresponding misgivleft so unprotected by the almost total absence ings on the part of underwriters and others in of national armed vessels as to induce rebel inso- interest as to whether Government protection lence to attack our flag almost at the entrance of would be afforded to our ships laden with valuour harbors, and to actually blockade our mer- able cargoes. The want of adequate armed veschantmen at the Cape of Good Hope recently- sels on prominent naval stations for protection of an account of which you have here inclosed, be- our ships has become so notorious, that undering a copy of a letter recently received from a writers have no longer speculated on the chance captain of one of the blockaded ships, having a of the capture of these rebel cruisers by any of valuable cargo. We are conscious that it is no our national ships, but calculate only the chance easy matter to capture a couple of cruisers on of escape of our merchantmen, or the possible the boundless waters of the ocean, aided and destruction of the piratical craft from reported abetted as they too often have been at ports unseaworthiness or mutiny. These statements where international comity, if not international are made with all candor and in no spirit of caplaw, has been set at defiance, and we have wit- tiousness, but with a desire to concede that the nessed with satisfaction the patriotic zeal and embarrassment of the Department, which it may energy of your Department and the glorious suc- not be prudent or practicable to explain to the cesses of our navy in subduing the rebellion public, may fully justify the unfortunate position which threatens our national Union. Still we which the want of naval protection has placed think that the loyal merchants and ship-owners our commerce in. Yet, it is respectfully urged of the country, whose zeal and patriotic co- that you will give the subject the benefit of the operation have generously furnished the funds same energy and ability which have so creditably to sustain the Government, are entitled to have a marked the administration of your Department more energetic protection of their interests than in all other channels of your official duties. No has been hitherto extended to them. Your very one can better comprehend than one in your poarduous official duties have, no doubt, prevented sition the value of successful commerce at this you from investigating the serious inroads which time of great national expenditure, and a paraly. the unprotected state of our carrying trade has / sis of so important an interest cannot be contem